Made to Malfunction 2018
“Made to Malfunction”
Salvaged Technology, Aluminium, Acrylic
“Made to Malfunction” refers to the concept of planned obsolescence, a feature of all consumer products. They are designed to have a limited lifespan, then fail, forcing consumers to replace or ‘upgrade’.
In my work I am interested in energies and systems that have some unpredictable element, such as natural forces and malfunctioning devices — non-regular, non- musical rhythms. I have created a collection of sound making devices from parts of discarded electronic products. Each device is presented in its own display case, to be (re-)considered an object of great value or interest.
“Made to Malfunction” was created with full support from the Creators-in-Lab residency 2018 with Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea
Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 14th-23rd December 2018
Openarts Space MERGE?, Busan, South Korea, 12th-21st February 2019
In Vitrø, LOXOSConcept, Matera, Italy, 4th-29th September 2019
Double Deck: Pitchback 2020
During the current situation of a global pandemic and having a number of projects cancelled or postponed until next year, I took the concept of “Made to Malfunction”, deciding to adapt a found device, making it into a kind of instrument for sound performance.
https://vimeo.com/434393168 (first development)
Composed work: https://labelalcove.bandcamp.com/track/simon-whetham-double-deck
I have prepared the device with a number of 'arms' and pick up the sound using small directional microphones and contact microphones. The motors are programmed using Arduino and have a number of random patterns to seem as if they are not working correctly. I then work with this unpredictability, teasing out different timbres and textures.
The project was supported by the Arts Council England Emergency Response Fund for Individuals. I have been selected for the HEAR residency in 2 art schools in France this year, having proposed that I give the students workshops in how to make similar projects.
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by COCA.
Since 2005 Simon Whetham has developed a practice of working with sonic activity as a raw material for creation. He uses environmental sounds, employing a variety of methods and techniques in order to obtain often unnoticed and obscured sonic phenomena.
He is currently exploring ways to retain physical traces of sound, transforming energy forms and random action.
Whetham performs and exhibits internationally, participating in Fresh Winds Biennale 2018 & 2016 (IS), Nakanojo Biennale 2017 (JP), ACC Showcase 2018 (KR), Tsonami Festival 2017 & 2012 (CL), Madeiradig 2010 & 2011 (PT) and Moers Festival 2011 (DE).
Kinetic sound and light work "Made to Malfunction", developed and exhibited at Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea in December 2018 has also been shown at Openarts Space Merge, Busan, South Korea (Feb. 2019); In Vitrø, Matera, Italy (Sep. 2019) and Electric Spring, University of Huddersfield, UK (Feb. 2020).